12.22.11 – 6.11.21


words + photography TRACY JOHNSON


Birdie came into our lives around Valentine’s Day, nine and a half years ago, and she never stopped loving us.

She was the constant presence at the top of the stairs. When we came up, a kiss on the nose was required to pass. Her favorite place at night was in front of the front door. I can’t even imagine how much money we spent on dog beds, to no avail. A patch of floor in the most central spot in the house was all she required.

The plan was for her to become a therapy dog, but Birdie had her own agenda. She passed the TDI test by the skin of her teeth—but after two visits to the nursing home I knew she was not a good fit. She was so exuberant and full of love, but stealing stuffed toys off of beds was not cute. She taught me to accept her and love her as she was, not the dog I wanted her to be. She told me often how devoted she was to me and she forgave my human tendencies and impatience with her.

Birdie never, not once, chewed anything that was not given to her. Amazing … I think of her love of anything with a “P”: popcorn, peanut butter and parties! I called her my “Party Puppy” as she was always on the lookout to joyously greet a human or a K-9. A friend aptly referred to her as “The Volcano of Love.”

My garden helper was ever present, especially while picking cherry tomatoes and blueberries. She could strip a clump of berries right off the bush, then she would sit and watch the ocean as I weeded and she waited for playtime to come.

As I lay on the couch, half asleep, my hand reached down to pat the silky-soft golden retriever that had been by my side through thick and thin and she wasn’t there. Now I see her out of the corner of my eye, lounging and watching me and loving me from beyond..

Rest in Peace Beau Geste Jabberwocky Jub Jub Bird, Birdie

Previous StoryNext Story